Every House Party Needs These 10 Essentials

We may have graduated past the red-solo-cup-style house parties of our youth, but we still want our more grown-up get-togethers to feel just as fun and easy — minus the beer-stained tables. The key to a successful adult house party? A strong, streamlined, and sophisticated lineup of entertaining essentials.

With the impending arrival of a dozen or so friends, a host may panic (e.g. bulk ordering throwaway paper goods; preparing enough food for a wedding reception; or worrying about “themes” or “aesthetic”). Instead of losing your cool, keep calm and consult the house-party checklist we’ve crafted ahead.

From multipurpose serveware to entertainment goods, these ten staples will transform your space into a canvas primed for effortless partying — let your guests bring the paint.

Who doesn’t love a party? Okay fine, introverts, we see you. But when the recipes work out, the bespoke cocktails are flowing, and you’re surrounded by your people, even those who think they’d rather be at home with their BFFs Netflix and Seamless can’t help but get lost in the feeling. This doesn’t mean, however, that throwing an event — or, for that matter, attending one — is always easy. With several big-deal holidays around the corner, plus the requisite birthdays, bachelorettes, and baby showers, there’s really only one thing we can do: Keep Calm and Party On.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Soma Water Carafe

While your party may be BYOB, keeping your guests’ water glasses filled (and hydrated wits about them) is on you — this 10-cup Soma carafe will help you do so with stylish filtered ease.

Soma 10-Cup Water Filter Glass Carafe, $, available at Amazon

Marshall Stockwell Bluetooth Speaker

Any fire party has a fire playlist — and a fire sound system to blast it. Get you a speaker that works overtime as an easily portable wireless good and retro-stylish decor piece.

Marshall Stockwell Bluetooth Speaker, $, available at Urban Outfitters

Anthropologie Agate Cheese Board

Let your guests bring the charcuterie and leave the actual cheese plate styling to you — it will look like an elegant cinch presented on a showstopper board cut from gold-rimmed agate.

Anthropologie Agate Cheese Board, $, available at Anthropologie

Parker Brothers’ Clue Vintage Bookshelf Edition

You never know what the vibe of a party is going to be, so throw prepared with some good old-fashioned entertainment — this vintage remake of the 1949 board game classic hits that nail on the head with a worthy-of-displaying-on-your-bookshelf bonus.

Parker Brothers Clue Vintage Bookshelf Edition, $, available at East Dane

World Market Wood Trough Wine Chiller

When the already crowded space in your tiny apartment’s tiny refrigerator fails, you’ll need to call on the storage-space aid of this stylish wooden trough — that, when filled with ice, can keep any beverage chill n’ ready to crack open.

World Market Wood Trough Wine Chiller, $, available at World Market

MINNA Ikat Runner

A full-sized tablecloth isn’t for everyone — especially those that don’t actually have a full-sized table. An easy way to fancy up your space for a party is by draping an artfully woven runner over whatever surface you serve from, whether countertop to entryway console or coffee table.

Minna Ikat Runner Rust, $, available at MINNA

FujiFilm Hybrid Instant Camera

Another foolproof way to get your guests in the party mood is by keeping a camera out to encourage snapping shots of all the merrymaking — the best part about this FujiFilm model is that it brings all the retro fun of instant film with digital viewing abilities (so you can choose whether or not you like the pic you took before printing).

Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 Hybrid Instant Camera, $, available at Amazon

Mocko Recycled Disposable Paper Napkins

An easier and still sustainable solution to serving your guests: Instead of worrying about a pile of dishes OR tossing out a hoard of paper products, try these linen-like napkins. Each square from the 100-pack is large and durable enough to hold your guests’ appetizers, while also being crafted from eco-friendly recycled materials.

Mocko Natural Disposable Paper Napkins (100-Pack), $, available at Amazon

Puracy Natural Stain Remover

For the inevitable spills your guests will apologetically make on every surface from your favorite throw to couch and rug — tell them not to sweat it and bring this eco-friendly spray to the stain-removing rescue.

Puracy Natural Stain Remover, $, available at Amazon

Mosser Glass Cake Stand

At first glance, cake stands may seem outdated — but, the old-school bakeware does more than display sweets. Keep one of these colorful-glass styles around to serve multi-purpose as an appetizer server to accessory organizer all while adding depth without taking up precious space on your table. (It’s like a tray, but on stilts.)

Mosser Glass Glass Cake Stand, $, available at Food52

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